Today, the Government has put out an announcement heralding the success of the Covid vaccination programme.
I think it is a little churlish to say the Government deserves no praise. The groundwork they put in before the rollout has contributed to its success. But, of course, it is GPs who have been carrying out the bulk of the work.
One thing that was missing from the announcement, however, was any acknowledgement that, for many GPs, providing this service has become too much. Pulse’s story this week revealed that one quarter of GPs say that their PCN groups have had to pull out of the vaccination programme, mainly due to workload concerns.
This should be a warning signal – the latest among many – about the workload GP practices are facing. As one GP put it: ‘Once QOF and the local CFF (chronic disease framework) are back as well as expected increased demand with lockdown easing, our already tired workforce could not carry on.’
It is wonderful how far we have got. But let’s remember – even without a further spike – the work involved in the next few months will be immense, whether that is continuing the vaccination programme, or dealing with the huge backlog of patient concerns that have been building up in lockdown.
It was GPs who have got us back to a position where people are beginning to think about getting back to normal. But their reward is a reintroduction of box ticking, inspections and potentially unsafe face-to-face appointments. You are paying for your own success.
Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.